Parent's Resource Center

Summer Reading for You & Your Teens
By Patricia Chadwick

Though summer can be very hectic and busy with camps, vacations, and a host of other activities, I encourage you to take the time to relax and catch up on your reading - and encourage your teenagers to do the same.

When my kids were younger, every summer we had a reading chart. As they would finish the required hours of reading they'd mark it off on the chart and collect their prize from mom. If they finished the entire chart, they got a special "Grand Prize".

Even though they are teenagers now, I still use a reading chart to encourage reading in my kids. For every 4 hours of reading I give them a small prize like an ice cream sundae, a ticket to the local minor league baseball game ($2.00), a tube of lipstick or other make up, candy bars, etc. You get the idea. Something that costs a dollar or two. If they finish the entire chart, ( I usually set it around 35 hours of reading) I give them something special. They pick the prize before we start, and it usually costs about $10.00.

I encourage you to start your own reading program with your teen. Mine may not work for you. Be creative and come up with something that will work for your family. Set goals for all of you and plan on achieving them this summer!

When you get tired of the frantic pace that summer can bring, steal away and curl up with a good book. Below are some titles I think you and your family will enjoy. They are published by Bethany House Publishers and are great books at a great price. Best of all, you can purchase them from Parents & Teens with FREE shipping!

Bethany House is an evangelical Christian publishing company that was developed over forty years ago out of Bethany Fellowship International's ministry training and sending missionaries around the world. Profits from the sale of Bethany House books support missionary work in more than twenty-five countries as well as Bethany Fellowship International's numerous other ministries. Students can attend the Bethany College of Missions at very low prices ($3,000 for a four year degree and $1,000 for one year), in part because of the profits from our books. The Bethany Fellowship/Bethany College of Missions Web site is:

The purpose of Bethany House's publishing program is to help
Christians apply biblical truth in all areas of life-whether through a well-told story, a challenging devotional, or the message of an
illustrated children's book. I tell you all this to let you know these are good, moral books and that your purchase will help support Christian Missions. You can purchase these books from our special order form at:

Choice Summer
Shirley Brinkerhoff

Life for Nikki Sheridan has always been the same-no surprises, no scrapes, no crises, no escapes. This summer will change all that."Sure enough, honey..."

Her hollow words reverberated off the cold, antiseptic walls of the examination room, and inside my head. I stopped listening.
How could this have happened to me? More accurately, how will I ever forget? Especially now that there's this little reminder to think about. What am I going to do? Telling my parents...I don't even want to think about that! And Grandma and Grandpa would be so disappointed. No. It's just like the nurse at the clinic said-I can have it taken care of, and then my life can just go back to normal.

But I have to do it right away, before anyone finds out, before I start gaining weight...

Her worst fears confirmed, Nikki's plans come to a screeching halt when she realizes that, for the first time in her life, the choice is hers to make. What will she decide? And can she follow through with it?

Presented by Focus on the Family

Available for $5.99

Summer Promise
Robin Jones Gunn

From a Wisconsin farm to a California beach... From a measly
allowance to unlimited shopping sprees... From an uncomplicated life to a highly sophisticated one... These are the head-spinning changes that lead to Christy Miller's...Summer Promise

As fourteen-year-old Christy leaves her family's Wisconsin farm to spend the summer at her wealthy aunt and uncle's beach home in Newport, California, she realizes this could be the best summer of her life. Her aunt is bending over backward to see that Christy's every wish is granted, the popular beach crowd is actually talking to her, and she catches the attention of a cute surfer named Todd.

But the summer doesn't turn out as Christy hoped. Suddenly, she is faced with choices she's never had to make before, and the safe world that she's always known comes crashing down around her. Through it all, Christy struggles to keep her promise to her parents not to do anything she'll regret. But will she stop at nothing to get Todd, to be accepted, and to force her summer to give her everything it promised?
Available in:

Paperback - $5.99


Once Upon a Summer
Janette Oke

This book is about a boy and his special family. Sure, his family isn't typical-Josh knows that. But when Grandpa and Uncle Charlie begin to make plans to find Auntie Lou a husband-and take away the only mother Josh has ever known-he knows something has to be done. How can he find his way when his whole world threatens to come apart?

This was one of my absolute FAVORITE books by Janette Oke. There are four books in the series which follows Josh from a boy to a man. This is great for teens and adults alike.

Available in paperback for $6.99


Make a Wish
Sandra Byrd

Now that Lucy and Serena have found the diary, it's time to jump into their first adventure. Since the diary girls had a part, Serena decides it's the perfect opportunity to celebrate Lucy's twelfth birthday. Lucy isn't so sure. She knows only a few girls on the island, and some of them have been pretty rude. Will anyone come?

Lucy's never had a birthday part with other kids before, so she decides to go for it. But in the midst of all their plans, one of the invitations comes back to her-with a threat to cancel the party. Lucy wonders if she made a big mistake. Should she cancel the party...or face the threat head on?

The author takes the reader on a journey they will never forget! This book is best for preteens and young teen girls.

Available in paperback for $4.99

Change of Heart
Sandra Byrd

A Trip to Camp Means New Friends...and New Problems Lucy and Serena are off to camp! With athletic Lucy attending this year, Serena and the other girls from Avalon are confident their cabin will win the annual Golden Pig's Foot competition. But when they arrive at camp, Lucy finds she is assigned to a different cabin-full of strangers!

Now Lucy doesn't know what to do about the competition. If she
performs poorly so her friends can win, that would be unfair to her cabinmates-girls who are quickly becoming her friends, as well. And when Lucy accidentally discovers one camper's tightly held secret, she's forced to make a decision in which there are no safe choices. Can Lucy bring herself to do the right thing?

This is from the same series as Make a Wish and will be loved just as much by your preteen and young teen girls.

Available in paperback for $4.99


The Bridge Over Flatwillow Creek
Lance Wubbels

Here is one for the adults.

An Enthralling Turn-of-the-century, Small-town Love Story!
It is the summer of 1901 in the rural Minnesota town of Bradford. A terrible accident has just taken place and young Stuart Gray is the first one on the scene. There, with amazingly natural skill, he saves the lives of two people. Afterward, the local doctor challenges him to study medicine, but what of his plans to follow his grandfather into the ministry?

One of the people Stuart rescued is Annie Harding, a lovely young lady who is being courted by a rich and debonair banker. But could it be that Annie is looking for a love that money cannot buy?

Available in paperback for $9.99


Accidental Detective Series
Sigmund Brouwer

Great Adventures for Reluctant Readers! Great for Boys.

"The Volcano of Doom"

On a Vacation in Paradise, What Can Go Wrong?
Ricky Kidd's family and his friends are in Hawaii for Easter break, and it promises to be the vacation of a lifetime. But when a shark-fishing trip turns into a hair-raising experience, Ricky isn't sure whom to trust. Mike's discovery of an ancient Japanese statue causes even more confusion. And then there is that white-haired guy who keeps showing up....

Meanwhile, other strange things keep happening, especially when their host disappears just a week before his wedding! The statue holds the key to unraveling the mystery, but when it is stolen from them, it seems their last clue has disappeared. Ricky and his friends need to solve this mystery soon-otherwise they may become shark bait!

"The Disappearing Jewel of Madagascar"

Friends Become Strangers, and Strangers Become Friends....
When Ricky Kidd first hears about the curse of the Jewel of
Madagascar, he is pretty sure he doesn't believe in it. But almost immediately, strange things start happening. First he knocks over a statue that crushes part of Mrs. McEwan's antique jewelry collection. Ricky is convinced his life is over-paying off the debt will take years!

As if that weren't bad enough, all of his friends seem to be deliberately avoiding him. And then there is Mrs. McEwan's mysterious nephew-Ricky is sure he is not who he seems. Can the curse be coming true? As Ricky struggles to make sense of everything, he learns the importance of friends, trust, and loyalty.

Both books are available for $5.99 /ea.


Between Two Flags Series
Lee Roddy

Experience the Civil War through the eyes of thirteen-year-old
Gideon, a poor Virginia farm boy; Emily, an orphaned northerner who's come south to live on her uncle's plantation; and Nat, a secretly educated slave boy who hopes to escape. Beloved by children, educators, and homeschoolers, this series makes learning history fun!

For ages 11 - 14 and another series great for boys. Titles in the series are:

Cry of Courage
Where Bugles Call
Burden of Honor
Road to Freedom
Uprising at Dawn
Risking the Dream

They are available for $5.99 and you can get more information about each book at:


Young Underground Series
Robert Elmer

Peter Anderson and his twin sister, Elise, live in the harbor city of Helsingor, Denmark during the Nazi occupation. Through their hold-your-breath adventures with the Danish Underground, middle readers are provided a great way to learn history and develop a love of reading. For ages 8 and up.

Titles in this series are:

A way Through the Sea
Beyond the River
Into the Flames
Far From the Storm
Chasing the Wind
A Light in the Castle

Each book is available for $5.99 and you can get information
on each book at:


Remember, you can purchase any of these titles from Parents & Teens on the special order form at:
The order form is secure.





Patti Chadwick is the creator of Parents & Teens found at She is also the author of
MISSION POSSIBLE: RAISING GREAT TEENS! and LOOK UP! A 30-Day Devotional Journal for Teens. Both books are available on her website in both ebook and print formats. To purchase visit:

This article may be re-published as long as the following resource box is included:
Patricia Chadwick is a freelance writer and has been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. She is currently a columnist in several online publications as well as editor of two newsletters. Parents & Teens is a twice-monthly newsletter geared to help parents connect with their teens. Subscribe at History's Women is weekly online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women. Subscribe at

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